Medicaid Planning

Winston-Salem Medicaid Planning Lawyers

Helping You Receive the Care You Need

Medicaid plays a crucial role in estate planning, enabling older individuals and people with medical conditions to receive financial assistance. If you're setting up an estate plan for yourself or a loved one, understanding how Medicaid plays into the estate planning process is vital.

At Payne & Associates, PLLC, our Winston-Salem Medicaid planning attorneys can help you understand how Medicaid benefits will affect your current estate plan, and how to receive them.

To schedule a consultation with our team or learn more about our estate planning services, contact us onlineor via phone at (336) 585-8454.

Medicaid & Estate Planning

At this point, you may be wondering, "how does Medicaid affect estate planning?" Many people think that only MediCARE plays a role in estate planning, but that's not necessarily the case.

Medicaid can provide a number of benefits to elderly citizens who lack a sizable income or assets. In North Carolina, senior citizens can receive the following benefits from Medicaid:

  • Institutional and nursing home assistance. If a senior citizen has an income less than Medicaid pays for nursing home care, and less than $2,000 worth of assets, Medicaid will cover nursing home and institutional expenses. This is a huge benefit, allowing many senior citizens to receive skilled nursing and housing based on Medicaid benefits as long as they meet the requirements.
  • Medicaid waivers and home or community-based services. If a senior citizen makes less than $1,064 per month and has less than $2,000 worth of assets, they can receive help with their daily activities from Medicaid nurses or other professionals.
  • Medicaid aid for aged, blind, or disabled individuals. If a senior citizen makes less than $1,064 per month and has less than $2,000 worth of assets, they can receive general care from Medicaid professionals.

As you can see, Medicaid benefits can play a crucial role in helping senior citizens receive care as they age. This makes Medicaid planning a vital part of any estate plan. Whether you're planning for yourself or an elderly loved one, factoring Medicaid into the process is essential.

How Medicaid Defines Incomes & Assets

At this point, you may be wondering how Medicaid defines income and assets.

Medicaid defines income as a source of monthly money. Income can come from anywhere, including:

  • Wages;
  • Salary;
  • Alimony;
  • Pension;
  • Social Security disability income;
  • Social Security general income;
  • IRA withdrawals;
  • Stock dividends.

If a married individual applies to receive Medicaid nursing home or waiver benefits, their spouse's income is not factored into whether they receive Medicaid. However, for other types of Medicaid benefits, spousal income is factored into whether the applicant receives aid.

Currently, the income limit to receive Medicaid benefits is $2,155 per month. However, in July 2021, that cap will raise, making it easier for some individuals to receive Medicaid.

Medicaid only uses "countable" assets when calculating whether an individual can receive Medicaid. Countable assets include:

  • Cash;
  • Stocks;
  • Bonds;
  • Investments;
  • Credit union accounts;
  • Savings accounts;
  • Checking accounts;
  • Any estates where the applicant does not live.

However, other "noncountable" assets do not factor into Medicaid application. Noncountable assets include:

  • Personal belongings;
  • Household furnishings;
  • The applicant's vehicle;
  • The applicant's primary home;
  • Irrevocable burial trusts.

If an individual applies for Medicaid, their spouse can retain half of their assets, up to a cap of $128,640.

It's important for Medicaid applicants to know that, in North Carolina, Medicaid has a five-year "look-back period." If an individual sells a significant amount of their assets for market value in the five years previous to applying for Medicaid, they may be ineligible to receive Medicaid. The look-back period exists to help Medicaid ensure that resources are allocated to truly needy individuals. Gifts of money are also prohibited for Medicaid applicants in the five years previous to applying.

The look-back period is just one reason why so having an estate planning attorney to help with Medicaid planning is so vital. A Medicaid planning attorney can help ensure that you or a loved one retain certain assets you value while still remaining eligible to receive Medicaid assistance.

At Payne & Associates, PLLC, our Winston-Salem Medicaid planning attorneys can help you draft a comprehensive estate plan that meets all of your needs.

To schedule a consultation with our team or learn more about our firm, contact us onlineor via phone at (336) 585-8454.

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